The Chicago White Sox named Chris Sale the ace of the starting rotation over a week ago. With Opening Day only days away, Sale appears ready to take the reins and show the organization what he is made of.
Sale went 4-0 with a 3.86 earned run average and 16 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings this spring. He is hoping that he can build off of this performance once the regular season begins.
The left-hander is determined to prove that his 2012 season was no fluke and that he is worth every bit of the five-year, $32.5 million contract he signed earlier this month. With that being said, the White Sox would prefer that he concentrate on each start as it happens instead of getting too far ahead of himself. It is a long season, and if Chicago wants any chance of competing in the American League Central, they will need Sale to have a clear mind.
“Whether it is spring training or the first game of the season, I still get butterflies in my stomach,” Sale told WhiteSox.com. “The nerves are still, but it is all how you control it. I will try to clear my mind as much as I can.”
The only thing Sale, who turns 24 years old on March 30, should be thinking about is facing the Kansas City Royals on April 1. A solid outing on Opening Day will bolster his confidence, which could provide the base for another very successful season.
Sale posted a 17-8 record with a 3.05 earned run average, 1.14 WHIP and 192 strikeouts in 30 appearances (29 starts) last season.